I was very touched by your words about the cat. I think i also took a photo of him, but at that time i must confess that i took the last photographs quite compulsively(if that words may be used...)
I totally agree with you about the city infraestructure. Everything is changing-developing so quickly! Only four years back things were quite different. The restaurant in the Admiralty we frequented, but there are now so many lovely restaurants. The Staraya Bashnia al fresco restaurant is one of my favourites, since you can have dinner so close to the former tennis court, inside the courtyard of the Fyodorovsky Gorodok.
One of the most recently opened, near the palace, is decorated in the old russian style, and there´s a balcony looking over Anna´s house´s backyard.
They´re also building a lot of lovely houses in classic and even a restrained version of russian art nouveau styles. One of them i thought it was simply a dream, since it was at the corner directly in front of the palace gates.
Sadly all these new restaurants are extremelly expensive and. i think, are almost unaffordable(?) for the inhabitants of the city in general. We frequently saw there only mature men with young women, always carrying Louis Vouiton handbags and the like...
And yes, the city museum is quite lovely, the people there always so kind and helpfully!